By ISABEL SANTIAGO
Herminio Alfonso Command
Guerilla Front 53 Operations Command
New People’s Army-Southern Mindanao
The Guerilla Front 53 Herminio Alfonso Operations Command of the New People’s Army staved off a platoon of the 57th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in a counter-defensive ambush that killed one fascist troop and wounded several others, 3 December, 11:40 am, at Mt. Makaindos, Barangay (village) Amabel, Magpet, North Cotabato. After the hour-long battle, the troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines fled and left on the scene their medical supplies. Later their casualties were met by four ambulance units at Brgy. Amabel.
It was the second counter-defensive NPA action after its 26 November encounter with members of the 10th Special Forces Company (SFC) of the Philippine Army. Three AFP troops were killed and six others wounded in that earlier battle, which lasted for about 30 minutes at 9:30 in the morning, contrary to the military’s propaganda of no reported casualties.
The sustained NPA tactical offensives in Magpet is meant to punish the 602nd Brigade of the 6th Infantry Division-Philippine Army for its clearing operations that left a trail of abuses against the peasant masses since its operation started last 15 November. The Army has intensified its already abusive operations to pave the way for the entry of Japanese investors Hitocho Group of Companies who are the new capitalists of the banana company, Dole Philippines.
The military has waved its baton of terror, as it plays escort to protect the aggressive expansion of banana plantations in the area. Using resources and taxpayers’ money under the auspices of Oplan Bayanihan, and funds siphoned from Japanese capitalists, the 602nd Brigade-6th ID bares its fascist fangs, displays its deceptive “peace and development” camouflage, and makes hinterland villages virtual garrisons of controlled population.
The NPA is determined to thwart every military attack, punish the butchers and criminals in the 6th ID and defend the masses.The 57th IB and the 10th SFC troops are hated by the masses in North Cotabato. The 57th IB Civil Military Operation Battallion Company victimized the masses, detained and tortured a civilian before he was released. In Brgy. Salingsing, they stole chickens, used up the wood saplings, threw away rice, made peasant leaders wait under the heat of the sun, and in sitio Lubas, Brgy. Amabel, threatened the peasants by saying the latter would be massacred if the military gets hit by the NPA.
This is the same military unit that has used children as guides for its counter-revolutionary operations. Both the 57th Infantry Battalion and the 10th Special Forces Company were the same military units responsible for the brutal killing of civilians Ramon Batoy and Italian missionary Fr. Pops Tentorio in October last year in North Cotabato.